GEORGETOWN – Taylor Pritchett knew that barring a catastrophe, she was going to score the 1,000th point of her high school basketball career on Tuesday night.
With just two points to go, the senior guard reached the milestone on a fast-break layup 1:45 into the game. Then she kept scoring and rebounding ferociously as No. 5 Sussex Central rolled to a 69-47 home victory over No. 8 Caesar Rodney in a Henlopen North showdown.
“A thousand points is a huge milestone,” said Pritchett, who finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds. “It gets your name on the plaque, and when I come back years from now I’m going to be able to see it.”
Pritchett would also like to see the Golden Knights (9-2, 6-0) win their first outright Henlopen North title since 1995. They took a big step, but a rematch with the Riders (8-3, 5-1) remains Feb. 7 on CR’s home court.
“It’s a huge, huge step,” Pritchett said. “Caesar Rodney, they’re always a big team to beat. When you beat them, you know you’re in a good direction of completing that goal of winning the North.”
The Riders had the best of it early. Simone London followed two free throws with a three-point play for an 8-4 lead, and CR took a 13-10 advantage into the second quarter.
But then Sussex Central began to solve the full-court, trapping defense favored by Riders coach Bill Victory. The Golden Knights broke the press three straight times for a layup and corner 3-pointer by Emily Truitt and a layup by Lamesha Walker to take a 19-15 lead midway through the second quarter.
“That’s Victory basketball,” Central coach Ron Dukes said. “He’s going to come at you for four quarters. If you can beat it, you can get some nice layups on the back end of it. If you don’t, he’s getting layups on the other end. … Tonight, I thought we did a decent job of handling it.”
The Golden Knights continued to run, scoring the last seven points of the half. Pritchett went coast to coast after a defensive rebound, and Jasmine Hudson bombed a 3-pointer off Truitt’s assist and hit two free throws for a 32-21 halftime lead.
“That was definitely important,” Pritchett said of handling the pressure. “One of our main things was coach told us when you break the press, someone is going to be open. Sure enough, our forwards were cutting to the block and they had a wide-open layup.”
Central really got it rolling in the third quarter with a 10-0 run. Truitt passed to Hudson for a layup, Pritchett scored twice, Hudson dished to Tatyana Jenkins for another layup and Jenkins made a steal and sidestepped a CR defender for another bucket to push the lead to 45-28.
Hudson, who reached 1,000 career points in the Golden Knights’ second game of the season, scored 16 on Tuesday. Truitt had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Jenkins added 10 points and eight boards for Sussex Central. But Pritchett led the way, even doing much of the ballhandling against the pressure.
“Every night, I expect that out of Taylor,” Dukes said. “… She’s probably got some bumps and bruises, because she took some hits tonight.”
Caesar Rodney got 16 points from London, 10 points from Alizae Dollins and six points and 10 rebounds from Whitney Victory.
Contact Brad Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ
Sussex Central’s #44 Jada Smack (left) and Caesar Rodney’s #25 Alizae Dollins go up for a rebound.